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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    San Mateo
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    90

    Default first oav attempt

    I treated one hive with OAV: sealed entrance with cloth, 2.5 min. heating, then 2 min. with power off, then removed the vaporizer and sealed the hive for 10 more mins. After I opened the entrance, 20-25 bees and a drone ran out and flew right away like it was noon, even though it was a 55F windy late night. Only two dead bees. I use a slatted rack for less heat exposure to the bees. Is it normal to have a patch of OA hoar frosting on the slat right above the vaporizer and some (OA) flakes on top of the inner cover. Should do I remove it ASAP? (I removed shims from underneath the inner cover for the OAV procedure.) I used 2 grams of OA (Savogran). Should I reduce the dose or the vap time? Would appreciate any comment and sharing your experience. Thanks, h.
    Last edited by baybee; 07-11-2016 at 10:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    I treated in the spring less bees than now. Scorched the bottom of some frames some hives had burr comb on the bottom that melted going to clean the bottoms of frames from now on. Didn't worry about what was left in the hives the bees can clean it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,247

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    when I oav I have 2 buckets of water ready to pull the top and flood the hive if the smoke gets worse. recommend trying the oav with that dose in the open to see how long it takes to burn off. mine is over 3 minutes. then I leave it in for another couple sealed. I just did a treatment during the afternoon and saw a few bees come out that looked albino. the oa should give dose rate. I wouldn't go any lighter or heavier. they don't like it whenever you do it you'll always get some coming to attack and escape.
    Terrence - 2 full years....still a newb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: first oav attempt

    The timing intervals are wand-brand specific, so follow the instructions that came with your equipment. The treament stages you described would be correct for a Varrox wand.

    I don't use slatted racks, either normally or particularly when I do OAV. But I do have a shim between my lowest box and the entrance board. This gives me some extra space when I am doing an OAV treatment.

    Before I treat I squat down and look into each hive through the entrance using a flashlight to locate any burr comb and any mass of festooning bees hanging below the frame. (I do this even on friends' hives that don't have the shim, and I find burr com is at least as common in those as in mine with the extra space.) I take a piece of chalk and mark the entrance board so I can adjust the positioning to avoid touching the burr comb with the hot wand.

    Before I start an OAV treatment I use my smoker to move any cluster of festooning bees upwards - and in cooler weather to loosen it so I get good penetration of the vapors.

    Some wands are better balanced than others and on the tippier ones I found it useful to add some weight or a prop to the outer end to get them to stay flat without needing to be held throughout the whole time. I have a Varrox now and one of the reasons I like it is the excellent balance. Before I did my first treatment with any wand I set up a dummy stack with a box on it so I can look down and get a feel for the wand's positioning. If you have slatted racks that would be doubly useful as you could establish an insertion point where it wasn't just underneath one of the slats.

    Two grams is the correct dose for two boxes (of any size or number of frames). That's the equivalent of one-half teaspoon of the Savogran product. Adjust the amount up or down, depending on the number of boxes, within limits. I have never tried a burn with more than one full teaspoon, i.e. the four-box dose. I plan my treatment periods for when I only have four boxes on the stack, typically the three deeps and a medium that I winter with. In general I do not do routine OAV in the summer because it is not particularly effective when there is a lot of brood in the hive - even with a long series of weekly treatments. It still works, but just not as well as when the hive is broodless.

    I regard any significant "snow" occurence as a moderate treatment defect. It certainly indicates an impaired vapor dispersion pattern within the hive, which could lower the efficacy. A little is OK, a lot is a problem. I am often doing OAV at the lower limits of accceptable temps (37 F) so it is more of an issue for me. I don't see any difference in "snow" that is related to dryness (or lack there of) of the material, though I am careful to store the product so it doesn't acquire any atmospheric moisture.

    I try to do the "warm" weather treatments in the very early morning when it is still cool. I have never attempted it at night as my girls don't take kindly to nighttime visitiors, for any reason. Plus I have no lights in my apiary so there would a safety factor.

    Like Kaizen, I have a plan for a fire emergency. (Not that I've ever had a real one.) But once I tripped on ice and my fall yanked on the wand's cord, pulling down which moved the wand upwards against the frames' bottom edges during the active part of the burn. Since I always have my respirator and goggles on, I was able to yank it out immediately even though it was still cooking away without any worry about my own health. The bees boiled out mad as the dickens. I yanked the boxes apart (even though it was late Dec. in northern NY) because I could see some melted plastic. In the end only one frame was a little scorched and they probably were more disrupted by the sudden exposure to cold air than anything.

    I've done dozens and dozens of treatments and never seen any bleaching or lightening of the bees. And I can't recall seeing any of them even covered by the OAV particles to make them look lighter.

    Most of the times when I do OAV my bees stay calm (although they fan inside like mad) and they return to normal activity almost immediately afterward. I rarely ever find a cooked bee in the pan.

    With more practice you will develop a good routine. When I first started I set up a dummy hive (frames, no bees) with a pane of glass over the top so I could watch a test burn. That was a useful exercise in working out the kinks. A word of caution though, even though I had my gear on, and thought the stack was well sealed, it was the only time I've ever gotten a whiff of the vapors, probably because I was bent over, looking down with my chin tucked in, slightly breaking the mask's seal. So if you do this, be very careful about that and keep the close-in sight-seeing to a minimum. The vapors are truly awful and even one teensy whiff will make you a strong believer in the always using - and carefully fitting - the respirator. Every. Single. Time.

    BTW, I find that having a set of (at least) three timers, each pre-loaded with the correct timing for that interval, makes for smooth and efficient process. Relying on re-setting your watch at each stage means you are inevitably lengthening the intervals, or guestimating a compensation factor. Each timer is marked with the stage of the process so I always know where I am in the cycle. This may not be important if you only have one or two hives but when doing a series of multiple colonies it's easier to get lost while you are prepping the next hive, or finishing the previous one during another hive's cycle. I have collected various types of timers, with different sounds to the bell so I know by ear which one is signaling. (These are just cheap digital kitchen timers.)

    And I make it a rule that if there is any doubt or problem I will abort a burn, for any reason.

    Enj.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Robeson County, North Carolina
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Wow. What do you do with the remaining 2 hours left in the day? I thought OAV's strong suit was efficacy AND efficiency. Adding all those steps for the recommended 3 treatments is making MAQS or ApiLife-Var look less labor/time intensive than I first thought. I just measure, poke, plug, time. Rinse and repeat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    2,280

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    All this sounds like rocket science to me. Certainly not for the average Joe.
    Or is it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    4,256

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cervus View Post
    Wow. What do you do with the remaining 2 hours left in the day? I thought OAV's strong suit was efficacy AND efficiency. Adding all those steps for the recommended 3 treatments is making MAQS or ApiLife-Var look less labor/time intensive than I first thought. I just measure, poke, plug, time. Rinse and repeat.
    For most it is just measure, poke, plug, dunk ...next hive.............certainly not rocket science at all. When inserting the vap, you feel some resistance (burr comb) move the vap to the left or right until the resistance is no longer.
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Robeson County, North Carolina
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    565

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Just fact checking here, but has there ever been a case of a hive actually catching fire from the use of a vaporizer? Is it even possible? Someone needs to do a test. Enjambres...?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by cervus View Post
    Just fact checking here, but has there ever been a case of a hive actually catching fire from the use of a vaporizer? Is it even possible? Someone needs to do a test. Enjambres...?
    Yes, that beekeeper forgot time and left his vaporizer connected to the battery for an extreme amount of time and even melted the vaporizer! You leave your iron on the ironing board way beyond the allotted time, it'll likely catch the fabric on fire...
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,974

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    I am describing in much detail how I learned to do OAV safely, not necessarily how I do it every time thereafter. This is the info I figured out on my own, before OAV was approved.

    Now, I look in to check for hanging bees, smoke 'em up a bit, measure, insert, plug, light the wand, start the timer and carry on. I am usually prepping the next hive over and ventilating the previous one during a burn, so I'm moving right along. (And keep in mind I am often doing this in deep snow, bundled up in insulated bib overalls looking like the Michelin man.)

    Doing OAV is very simple, effective, generally quite safe and even with multiple hives, it goes pretty quickly. But I am never casual about any pesticide application, particularly one with a chemical that's quite harmful to my own health. It isn't rocket science, it's just common sense - written out in detail for those that just want to read the steps, rather have to re-invent them on their own. YMMV.

    Enj.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    San Mateo
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Appreciate all the responses! Thank you Enjambres, I guess I put the pan right below a slat; should've shifted it just an inch any direction. I'd decided that without the slatted rack I wouldn't have been able to do OAV: the frames are only about an inch from the floor of the SBB, and even less fron the pan to frames, while a minimum of 2 cm is required; then the bees festoon all the way to the bottom board on all frames, there is no bee-free gap, maybe heavy smoking could make them move up but I doubt it. I think the slatted rack saved hundreds of bees from burning alive. The frames weren't scorched, one of them had a beard of OA flakes.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Thanks Enjambres!

    Nice post, good ideas of how to's.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Robeson County, North Carolina
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I am describing in much detail how I learned to do OAV safely, not necessarily how I do it every time thereafter. This is the info I figured out on my own, before OAV was approved.

    Now, I look in to check for hanging bees, smoke 'em up a bit, measure, insert, plug, light the wand, start the timer and carry on. I am usually prepping the next hive over and ventilating the previous one during a burn, so I'm moving right along. (And keep in mind I am often doing this in deep snow, bundled up in insulated bib overalls looking like the Michelin man.)

    Doing OAV is very simple, effective, generally quite safe and even with multiple hives, it goes pretty quickly. But I am never casual about any pesticide application, particularly one with a chemical that's quite harmful to my own health. It isn't rocket science, it's just common sense - written out in detail for those that just want to read the steps, rather have to re-invent them on their own. YMMV.

    Enj.
    Understood. Are you still up for the flammability test? And one more question, if I may; my vaporizer takes about 1.5 minutes to heat up to the sublimation temperature of oxalic acid (315 degrees F). That is 90 seconds of incremental heating of the aluminum block. Won't the bees move?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: first oav attempt

    @Baybee,

    The clearances when doing OAV is just one of the reasons I keep a two-inch shim installed permanently under my bottom boxes. Cheaper than slatted racks, for sure.

    And no, Cervus, I'm not doing a flammability test! You'd think bees would move, but they don't seem to. A couple of whiffs of smoke shifts them easily and it loosens any cluster so all the adult bees are exposed. (This is a big deal when doing the winter treatment, when my bees are clustered.)

    Enj.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,724

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    I smoke three or four good strokes into the entrance before I shove a stick in to knock down any ladder comb where I am going to shove the vaporizor. This puts the bees up off the frame bottoms. I see far more bees dead after cracking and stacking boxes than I do after an OA treatment. I can do them fairly quickly by prepping and unwrapping several boxes as the OA is evaporating. I leave the vaporizor quite warm so dont have to wait much for it to preheat. There is not much time spent twiddling your thumbs once you get a system going.
    Frank

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    San Mateo
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Thanks for all the comments. What I don't understand though is why there're no dead mites on the SBB more than 18 hrs after OAV. I thought that for the first 24 hrs a lot of dead mites fall out. I saw 4-5 live mites in some sealed drone cells during inspection a few days ago and that was the reason for the treatment. Could it be that the bees just don't have that many mites or this OAV treatment is too early in the season?

    UPDATE: Someone has suggested that "nothing happens for the first 24 hours then the main drop will happen over say the next 5 days." Hope this is my case too.
    Last edited by baybee; 07-12-2016 at 04:50 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Creal Springs, IL
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    191

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    I have not read instructions on OAV treatment, but can OAV treatment be done with the wand below the bottom....if you're using a screen bottom board? Problems mentioned in this thread wouldn't exist if so...and the wand can just be inserted on the back side of the hive.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: first oav attempt

    You'll see many more mites in the 24-48 hr. period- just when you think it's a failure, your board will be littered with 'em..

    Some people report good luck doing it below the SBB, but I've never been able to master that, even though at first it seemed like a very good idea to me. I get far too much "snow" as the vapors pass through the mesh. That may be partly because I use OAV primarily as as cool or cold weather treatment (my fave air temp is in the low 40s) and my SBB wires are cold enough to create a rapid re-crystalization of the OA.

    Enj.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by jcummins View Post
    I have not read instructions on OAV treatment, but can OAV treatment be done with the wand below the bottom....if you're using a screen bottom board? Problems mentioned in this thread wouldn't exist if so...and the wand can just be inserted on the back side of the hive.
    I have not tried this but people have reported in this forum that the OA condenses on the screen before getting into the hive. The screen is cooler than the vapor so it makes sense. However, some will get through. But if true, you will be administering a lower dose this way.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: first oav attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    I have not tried this but people have reported in this forum that the OA condenses on the screen before getting into the hive. The screen is cooler than the vapor so it makes sense. However, some will get through. But if true, you will be administering a lower dose this way.
    All true........ You should close off the SBB in some manner. Most have slide in's under the SBB that they use to close it off while vapping...
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

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